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"Apologizes Deeply" In Response To China Communist Party Criticism

Following an incident on Monday when a Tesla owner protested by climbing on a Model 3 at the Shanghai auto show, Tesla has been facing an onslaught of criticism by the Chinese government. And the EV maker has issued an apology.

Tesla recently posted a record delivery month in China. In March Tesla’s monthly vehicle registration grew to 34,635 Model 3 and Y vehicles up significant from February when Tesla delivered 18,155 vehicles.

Tesla is garnering much attention and drawing big crowds as the EV maker participates in the Shanghai auto show. However, this Monday Tesla’s presence was overshadowed by a demonstration that took place in the EV maker’s booth.

The demonstrators were two Chinese women with one of them a Tesla owner who had gotten into a crash in her Tesla. Prior to the incident, the woman reached out to Tesla claiming she got into a crash as a result of the brakes in her Tesla failing.

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Following the woman demanded a refund from Tesla, however, negotiations stalled after the owner refused to allow a third party investigation into whether a brake malfunction led to the accident. Tesla claims the crash was caused by speeding.

Fast forward to Monday and the Tesla owner choose to voice her dissatisfaction with the EV maker at the Shanghai auto show. The woman came wearing a shirt reading Tesla vehicles have malfunctioning brakes and protested by climbing onto a Tesla vehicle.

Following the incident, the woman was arrested and sentenced to spend 5 days in prison for disturbing public peace, and the second protestor walked away with a warning.

Tesla Giga Shanghai

At the time Tesla China’s head of public affairs Grace Tao responded by saying Tesla will take responsibility for any problems with its cars but “our attitude is that we do not compromise with unreasonable complaints”.

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Grace Tao also went on to say that she suspects that there was someone putting the customer up to the protest.

However, the response was not received well by the powers that be in the Chinese government. Xinhua, China’s official state media responded by asking “Who gives Tesla the confidence to ‘not compromise’?”

"A big company should have the responsibility of being a big company, no company can do whatever it wants". Xinhua said adding "If a company does not rectify when it has a problem if it does not change a problematic senior executive, it will eventually make mistakes again”.

The Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs (CCPLA), the Chinese Communist party’s top legal authority also had harsh words for Tesla saying the EV maker is “shirking responsibility” whenever it was criticized.

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The CCPLA also said Tesla’s popularity in China came from consumers having faith in the company, “but arrogance, let alone a lack of respect for China’s market and consumers, cannot be the response to that faith”.

Tesla Model 3

Following the onslaught of criticism, Tesla China issued an apology writing on the company’s official Weibo account “We apologize deeply for having not resolved the problem with the car owner in a timely manner”.

The EV maker also added a team had been set up to handle the protester’s case and “would work with any government investigation”.

Tesla also further promised to “actively listen to the opinions, suggestion, and criticism of our customers, internet users, and friends in the media”.

So what do you think? Was Tesla’s initial handling of the matter appropriate? Also, do you think the Shanghai protest was an intentional attack on Tesla orchestrated by an individual or group to harm the EV maker? And what do you think the latest ordeal means for Tesla’s prospect in China? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

For more information check out: Apple ‘Very Near’ To Sign A Deal With Tesla Battery Supplier To Build An EV Also, see New Videos Further Showcase Model 3’s Track Prowess

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.